[nfbmi-talk] regarding training center move

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Mon Dec 13 13:43:31 UTC 2010

Here are  some of the transition comments from the RSA 107 report, more will 
3. Transition

Observations:  The number of transition-age youths served at MCB is low in 
relation to the general population served.  The employment rate for all 
individuals served by MCB was 66 percent in 2007.  However, the 
transition-age youth employment rate is below 50 percent, and has been lower 
historically.  MCB operates nine transition-age summer youth programs 
throughout the state.

Table 4.2

MCB Employment Rate for Transition Youths for FY 2003 through FY 2007

      Employment Outcomes
     Changes from 2003

      MCB Employment outcomes

      All blind agencies employment outcomes

      MCB Employment rate

      All blind agencies employment rate

  a.. The Detroit Summer Youth Program is open to blind and 
visually-impaired high school youths from the ages of 14 to 26 to provide 
them with the opportunity to gain practical work experience in a variety of 
settings.  The program also provides some technical training, daily living 
activities, and recreational experiences.  However, MCB was not able to 
demonstrate how these activities contributed to competitive employment 
  b.. While MCB transition-age youths have access to career training 
programs offered at MCTI, less than one percent of individuals served at 
MCTI are blind or visually-impaired.  MCTI staff indicated they have limited 
experience working with individuals who are blind or visually-impaired.

Recommendations:  RSA recommends that MCB:

3.1              restructure the summer youth programs to emphasize 
employment-related activities in support of vocational goals;

3.2              develop and implement methods to evaluate the effectiveness 
of the summer youth program outcomes;

3.3              develop agency goals with broad stakeholder input for 
improving the achievement of employment outcomes for transition-age youths;

3.4              conduct training with MCTI staff to ensure that they are 
provided with the skills necessary to work effectively with MCB consumers; 

3.5              utilize MCTI as a resource for improving the achievement of 
competitive employment for MCB transition-age youths.

Agency Response:

3.1       MCB's summer youth programs already focus on the development of 
vocational goals and do not need to be significantly restructured, although 
the agency will always pursue enhancements in these programs, consistent 
with our dedication to continuous improvement.  MCB's transition summer 
programs are designed to provide consumers with an opportunity to receive 
vocational information, pre-employment assessments, job shadowing 
experiences, mentoring, as well as employment opportunities.  Each of the 
summer programs have incorporated these components for transitioning 
students, i.e., one summer youth program provides transition youths with 
technology training, vocational assessments and job placement in integrated 
setting within the community.  Another summer program, introduced transition 
students to independent living skills, entrepreneurial training, team 
approaches to producing artistic items, and other summer programs provided 
youths with the opportunity to gain work experience in the food service 
industry.  All of the summer programs emphasized the importance of learning 
and employing soft skills in their daily work.

3.2       MCB's summer programs target specific goals for the consumers to 
obtain.  These goals are developed with the individual's progress relating 
to their growth and development.  Collectively, the program evaluates the 
achieved outcome of each individual and the over all success of the summer 
program.  At the conclusion of each summer program an evaluation report is 
provided that details their achievement of the individual goal as they 
relate to the overall goal of the program.

3.3       MCB utilizes community rehabilitation agencies, Michigan Works! 
and the ISDs in the implementation of its transition program.  By utilizing 
these resources, MCB transition students are informed of the latest labor 
market trends regarding emerging careers for the transition age youths in 
the 21st century.

3.4       MCB does not believe that a comprehensive program to provide 
blindness training to the entire MCTI staff would be practical for either 
agency.  Because the number of blind and visually-impaired consumers who 
attend MCTI is likely to remain small, long periods of time might elapse 
between the times when a customer who is blind or visually-impaired is 
receiving training at that facility.

It is extremely difficult for any individual to retain learned information 
if a significant time lapse occurs between the learning of that information 
and the occasion when that individual is called upon to put the information 
to use in an applicable situation.  Therefore, it will be far more effective 
for the MCB to provide targeted training for MCTI staff immediately prior to 
the entry of a customer who is blind or visually-impaired into an MCTI 
program.  This agency has provided this kind of "just in time" training in 
the past, with excellent results.

With information flowing freely between the staff of MCBTC and MCTI, as is 
presently the case, we are confident that customers who are blind and 
visually-impaired will be able to make informed choices about whether they 
will attend an MCTI training program.  Whenever an MCB customer makes this 
choice, MCB counselors and rehabilitation teachers will provide the 
appropriate type and amount of training to any MCTI staff who will interact 
with that customer.

3.5:      For the reasons set forth in 3.4 above, MCB does not find this 
recommendation to be in the best interest of its transition-age youths.  It 
is impractical because of the vital importance of blindness skills to this 
population in obtaining successful, gainful employment in integrated 
settings.  In many cases, today's blind youth reach their high school years 
lacking the most basic skills of daily life.  As explained in bullet 2 
above, if an individual is not able to care for himself or herself with a 
significant degree of independence and competence, that individual may 
struggle to secure employment.

MCTI is not equipped to provide a training program that includes a 
combination of intensive blindness skill training and work experience.  Its 
secluded location, far from any kind of public transportation or even 
para-transit services, makes it an impractical setting for this kind of 

In the summer of 2009, MCBTC initiated a summer training program for 
transition-age youths.  The program included a significant employment 
component along with the intensive training in the skills that enable blind 
persons to succeed in competitive employment and to participate fully as 
contributing members of family and community life.  Through this program, 
internship positions are available in four different areas inside MCBTC. 
Several additional opportunities are being established throughout the 
community where MCBTC is located.

The demands of school limit the amount of blindness skill training that can 
be provided to transition- age youths during the school year.  Summer then 
becomes the only time during which these essential skills can be delivered 
to the majority of customers in transition.  MCB will continue to 
collaborate with MCTI at every opportunity, beginning with its inclusion as 
a potential work experience site for the summer youth training program.

Technical Assistance: None requested at this time.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lydia Schuck" <laschuck at juno.com>
To: <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Cc: <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2010 4:50 PM
Subject: [nfbmi-talk] regarding training center move

> Here I am talking about people with additional disabilities again...I
> hoped Anna might find a program at the training center for a couple of
> weeks next summer.  I know, however, that she and some others can only
> thrive in a setting that is organized and in a program that is
> well-planned.  Routines have to be established so that clients can be
> confident in the daily processes and the staff who conduct the
> programming.  Anna is not the only blind person in Michigan who has a
> developmental disability as well.  Anna is employable, and she has career
> goals, but if the training center doesn't settle somewhere quickly, there
> won't be enough time to get the program together.  I know there are other
> adults of all ages who need to be trained in a place that is
> well-arranged, well-organized, and with progrems that are well-planned
> for the setting.  Thanks....for listening to me rant.  I won't stop
> ranting about transition age kids even when Anna is fully employed.
> Lydia
> On Sun, 12 Dec 2010 12:00:14 -0600 nfbmi-talk-request at nfbnet.org writes:
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>> Today's Topics:
>>    1. Re: where are mcb tc staff today and what
>> are        theydoing?
>>       (joe harcz Comcast)
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2010 16:18:14 -0500
>> From: "joe harcz Comcast" <joeharcz at comcast.net>
>> To: "NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
>> Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] where are mcb tc staff today and what are
>>         theydoing?
>> Message-ID: <F0BBA3D504494D51AD06EC380D9C7F0B at YOUR7C60552B9E>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="Windows-1252";
>>         reply-type=original
>> Yes, and quite frankly Ms. Hiebeck was lying outright about what
>> people are
>> doing right now at the Fetzer and that is why I called her out on
>> it. Truth
>> is truth. Lies are lies. And this is very black and white.
>> They don't have a contract for a place to house the training center
>> as II
>> write and they don't even have any good prospects right now either.
>> These
>> are a matter of public records. Meanwhile good and quality staff ...
>> folks
>> like Rehab Teachers, and Mobility Instructors are having their
>> valued
>> services squanderred at taxpayer's expense. Man, some chastise me
>> for
>> calling a spade a spade. Some say I'm not for the "staff" of MCB.
>> That is
>> not true at all ... I love these "frontline" staff that do give us
>> the tools
>> to be independent. And they are in fact the people I'm fighting for
>> and
>> those valued services.
>> But, the fish rots from its head and the whole of M
>> CB is both corrupted and grossly incompetent right from its highest
>> level.
>> The boondoggle over this Training Center issue is only the tip of
>> the
>> iceberg. Man, Fred and others know that more time and effort was
>> conducted
>> to purge you alone Chris than in paying attention to MCB's
>> fundamental
>> mission.
>> This stuff brings literal tears to my eyes. I weep for the people
>> who are
>> not getting anything and for the competent staff that is sitting
>> around
>> doing nothing of real value, not because of their wishes, but
>> because of
>> gross malfeasance right at the top of this organization.
>> Anyway if anyone is blind and needs services, basic rehab services I
>> suggest
>> they drop a dime and call the training center. And if folks here or
>> on the
>> board challenge me on this or that or the other thing then I suggest
>> they
>> make a call to on Monday.
>> Facts are facts except in the bizarro cult world of the vision 20/20
>> world
>> of huff and puffery, spin and outright lies. Man, George Orwell
>> couldn't
>> have written a better script for what MCB has been and is now.
>> Joe
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Christine Boone" <christine_boone at comcast.net>
>> To: "NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
>> Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 3:43 PM
>> Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] where are mcb tc staff today and what are
>> theydoing?
>> No we do not have a location.  Further, the end is not in sight.
>> How will
>> classes begin in January with the safety and confidentiality of
>> students
>> preserved and protected, at least to the reasonable standard that
>> any adult
>> would find acceptable?
>> On Dec 9, 2010, at 11:15 AM, joe harcz Comcast wrote:
>> >> From MCB Report:
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Training Center Move
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Arrangements have been made for the Training Center to be entirely
>> moved
>> > out of the Oakland Drive location on Saturday December 6th. A
>> warehouse
>> > space is being procured to store most of the Center?s possessions
>> for the
>> > next year. There have been several months of exploration and
>> negotiations
>> > to secure a suitable alternative site to run the program at and
>> staff is
>> > well on the way to securing a site in the Kalamazoo area. Classes
>> are
>> > expected to resume at the beginning of January."
>> >
>> > Now, do we have an alternate location for the training center or
>> not?
>> >
>> > Joe Harcz
>> > _______________________________________________
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> ne%40comcast.net
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